For over 120 years, the United States has had a long history of immigration detention. Every day, hundreds of foreign nationals are placed in immigration detention facilities around the U.S. for alleged visa violations, unlawful presence, illegal entry, or other crimes. These individuals may be eligible for a bonded release until their court date; otherwise, they must wait in a detention center until their immigration proceedings commence. Sometimes, individuals are transferred between detention facilities on short notice, which makes it hard for friends, family, and their immigration attorneys and criminal defense attorneys to communicate with them.
What is a Detention Facility Like?
Immigration detention facilities operate much like a standard prison. In many instances, these facilities are actually prisons, which are operated by the state or by outsourced private companies. Oftentimes, these facilities are located very far from the immigration courts, so this provides a challenge to many individuals who are seeking representation from an immigration attorney for their upcoming immigration court proceedings.
How Can I Find Someone Who Has Been Detained?
If you do not know where the detainee is, you may be able to find out by using the ICE detainee locator website. The website is normally updated within the first 48 hours of a detainee being placed at a detention facility. If you know the detainee’s A-number and country of birth, that would be to easiest way to search for them. Otherwise, you will need the detainee’s full name, country of birth, and date of birth in order to use the locater service.
What Can I Do if Someone I Know Has Been Detained?
It is important to know what charges the individual is being detained for. Sometimes, an individual will be placed in a local prison while they are answering for criminal charges, and they have an ICE hold placed on them. The hold means that the individual will be released into ICE custody once the charges have been handled, the individual has served their sentence, or even if someone has bonded them out for their criminal charges.
If someone you know is in ICE detention, the best thing would be to figure out which deportation officer has been assigned to their case. The deportation officer has wide discretion to offer bond arrangements, voluntary departure, or some other forms of release from detention as long as the detainee’s charges do not require mandatory detention. It may also be wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to have a better understanding of any available options to a detainee while they are in ICE detention and to develop a strategy of how to handle any upcoming immigration court proceedings.
The immigration attorneys at Gilles Law, PLLC are here to help you with your immigration inquiries. Feel free to contact us today with any questions you might have.
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